Letter from Cephas Rockwood to Louisa Foote
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- 2018-12-03 18:40:18
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Chester June 25 1816 1 Yesterday the Fraternity of _Free Masons_ celebrated the Festival of the St. John in this Town. The day was very hot and having a large share in the exercises of the day, I found myself, almost exhausted by evening - On returning, home, I forgot the exercises of the day in thinking of Louisa - I threw myself on the bed, and in the course of an hour the sweet conversation, I then (in imagination ) had with you, almost restored me - I arose + went into my office, when I found a medium that cured me. Your Letter the 2d + 7th of June was there, I read it and was well - I loose [sic] no time in answering it - you say in my last I mention- =ed being out of health - I am better - yes I am well. and I hope before this reaches you the health of your sister will be restored - I imagine that my last letter was written soon after. I had been exercising with the hoe. I have for the sake of exercise, paid a little atten- [page break] =tion to gardening. But as you predicted the _frost_ has destroyed it - The season is very backward, and the prospect for the _Farmer_ is rather gloomy, in this part of the country - You ask, with some degree of anxiety, not to be disappointed in my coming to Canton in the fall - On this subject you need _not_ doubt- nothing but the _interposition_ of _Providence_, shall hinder my being in Canton the last of September next - I have thought of the following plan. (if it meets with your approbation - If not, wish you to amend, or alter it to your liking -) that is, for me to come to Canton in September, and bring you to Vermont - tarry here until winter - then to make a visit at your Fathers - This arrangement will be pleasing to _our_ friends here, for they are very anxious to see you. The young people in this Town have lately learned your name and are frequently soliciting [page break] 3 me to bring you to Chester - A W Wolcott from Shoreham the Preceptor of our Academy. (who graduated last Commencement at Middlebury) Is often asking me when you are comeing - [sic] And Miss Fanny Goodhue and Anna Hubbard two young ladies that live about a rod from my office, (both of whom I expect will be married in the fall) are daily questioning me about you. And have frequently asked me to send their Love, and good wishes to you - And many others fearing, I suppose, that I shall not tell the whole; are often asking, my little cousin Sylvanus Batley (who attends our Academy this quarter) concerning you. In short you are a person , about whom their has, lately been a great deal said, in this village - And if on your arrival here, you should be gazed at considerable, you must be astonished. [page break] 4 On monday next I start for Massachusetts, shall be gone a fortnight; and before I return shall make a short visit with my friends there some of whom I had not seen for Twenty years - This journey will be the last I shall make, until September - I shall make this journey in a one horse waggon. How I shall Journey in Septr. [sic] Will be for you to determine - If you do not conclude, then to come _home_ with me. I shall ride on a horse - But If you conclude to return with me I come in such manner as you shall direct - Cephas - P.S. In the beginning of this, I mentioned that the Free = Masons celebrated the 24th of June in this Town - At the same time they _dedicated._ their new Hall - Perhaps a few extracts from an oration delivered on the occasion may not be uninteresting - I do not send you the extracts on account of their [page break] 5 novelty or elegance, but because they contain some of the principals of Masonry - “ By Free Masonry we are taught to view man as he is. not as a recluse, or a hermit; but as a being formed for action and capable Of improvement. Owing certain duties to his _Creator,_ himself and his fellows - The Brethren are taught to view the human race as one great family - possessing the same propensities, and liable to the same calamities - As Masons they are citizens of the world - Every brother with unsuspecting confidence, [----] upon the _good man_ and _true,_ wherever he may be found - no matter in what climate he may have been born; or to what government or . country he may belong - Whoever possesses the valuable gem untarnished, to him confidence is given - The precepts of Free. masonry also enjoin the cultivation of the arts and sciences - They ad- [page break] =monish every Brother, to practice the _moral virtues - _ promote the social affections - and unceasingly endeavor to extend the circle of human happiness - Under the influence of these precepts, those branches of _Science,_ that expand, and enable the mind are cultivated - The harsher passions are softened - and the sentiments of Benevolence and _charity_ are awakened in the human breast - Every Mason whose conduct is regulated by the pure principles of his profession, must have a mind calm and peaceful - His plans are regulated by _Wisdom -_ His actions _squared_ by _Virtue -_ His words + conversation are tested by The _Plumbline_ of _truth -_ His desires are _circum- =scribed_ by _prudence -_ And the foibles + crowns of his Brethren are covered with the mantle of charity - He spread the _cement_ of _Brotherly Love_ + affection with _Benevolence_ + candour - His hope is founded on the promises, revealed [page break] in the Book of _Holy scriptures -_ And he looks by the _eye_ of _Faith,_ through the boundless Zealnes of eternity, to that _Temple,_ not made with hand, where the _supreme Architect_ of the Universe presides” - N.B. from the foregoing, you will see that I belong to the society of Masons I do not know that you was aprised [sic] of it before - [page break] [addressed to] _Free_ C.L. Rockwood _Post Master_ Miss Louisa Foote Canton N. [underline] York [/underline]
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